Defunct drainage system causes waterlogging in Srinagar areas

People raise questions against Smart City Project
Drainage is seen overflowing near Abi Guzar in Lal Chowk.
Drainage is seen overflowing near Abi Guzar in Lal Chowk.Haseeb Ibn Hameed/ GK

Srinagar, July 22: Residents of the summer capital are aghast as waterlogging impedes normal life in several areas, courtesy defunct drainage system.

People are raising questions on the Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s Smart City Project amid waterlogging.

On Saturday afternoon, the internet was flooded with visuals of inundated roads including the vital Airport road, city’s commercial hub Lal Chowk, tourist hotspot Boulevard Road and several other parts including those of Downtown.

“No need to visit Dal Lake, one can have a shikara ride on Srinagar roads as well,” commented one netizen on a video of vehicles plying slowly on Humhama-Peerbagh road which was seen submerged up to the footpath.

While rains led to traffic snarls across the city, worst gridlocks were witnessed at Karan Nagar and Khayam.

The road surface along the Karan Nagar and Gole Market were covered with mud as earthmovers were seen lined up, excavating the area. The crater sized potholes along the Munawarabad - Khayam Chowk road were overwhelmed with water.

“Officials tweet positive developments as if there is no tomorrow, but go into oblivion when it’s time to answer mismanagement,” wrote another netizen on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the newly reconstructed road near Regal Lane was also waterlogged at several spots, drawing flak from shopkeepers and commuters, who said, “If it keeps raining like this overnight, we might have to use boats tomorrow.”

“Urban floods are a growing challenge and the planning of the Srinagar Smart City should have been done while taking this into consideration,” wrote one Mushtaq Dar on Twitter.

Surprisingly, waterlogging was also witnessed near renovated Polo View where water was seen accumulating near manholes but didn’t go down the “specially designed drains.”

Rain water was also seen overflowing near the GPO road. But not only main roads, inner lanes of several parts of Srinagar including Hawal, Chanapora, Sazgaripora, Syedpora Hamachi Hazratbal were also inundated on Saturday.

“This is the aftermath of only a few hours of light rain, one doesn’t want to imagine what will happen during heavy rains,” said Abdul Hamid, a commuter pointing towards waterlogging at MA Road near the newly refurbished Polo View market.

SMC Commissioner Athar Aamir, who is also CEO Srinagar Smart City Ltd, did not respond to calls and texts regarding waterlogging.

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